Published by Love Spell Books on April 1 2004
The Controllers have engineered a virus that is killing Shielders. In the hopes of finding a cure, the Shielders need a human host to get the deadly virus past Controller checkpoints and to a medical lab on the planet Santerra. With her people facing extinction, outcast Nessa dan Ranul volunteers to be the host and is injected with the virus. She has only four weeks to make it to Santerra before it kills her.
When her ship breaks down in deep space, she’s rescued by her most dangerous enemy—a shadower, a bounty hunter who tracks down Shielders. She can’t tell him the truth about her dilemma, or he will turn her in to the Controllers.
Shadower Chase McKnight has an agenda more pressing than claiming bounty rewards—vengeance. He doesn’t have time for a homeless waif who ignites emotions he buried long ago. He refuses to allow anything to deter him from his mission, which results in traveling away from Santerra—while the time bomb inside Nessa is ticking down. But she doesn’t dare trust this man who is an enemy of Shielders.
Their secrets and agendas don’t prevent the growing attraction between them, even as they fight their individual demons—even as time runs out for Nessa. Only love can bring them full circle, offering Chase redemption, and the chance to save Nessa—and ultimately, her people.
It starts out with Nessa, who has always felt less worthy in the eyes of her parents and the rest of the colony. Apart from her brother Jarek, whom she loves dearly she feels like a prisoner. She aches to get out there, and experience new things and make a difference. She volunteers for a mission where she would be injected with the Orana Virus. Where she could serve a purpose for her people and colony, even if it means her death. She wants to be remembered and do something her colony and her parents would be proud of. Jarek protests of course, since he is the only one that truly cares about her; but she goes ahead with it. This is a vital mission, since this virus has infected many, and they must test it so they can find a vaccine. She is put on a ship headed for Sonoma. On the way however, her ship very old gives out, and she is adrift in space.
Chase McKnight, is a controller who has rights in this part of space, and takes her on to his. Also along with her beloved pet, Turi. Who has been a friend to her when she had very few. Chase beams her on board of his ship, very reluctantly and is willing to take her to Sonoma but tells her it will take a week, and she has a month to get there, or she will die with no purpose. Chase is a bounty hunter of Shielders(which is what Nessa is and she knows that she has to withhold it from him. Therefore their journey begins, and as their relationship deepens and their feelings develop; but Chase is denying it to himself. They both know that there is no way for them to fall in love. But one thing happens after another, and they find it helpless to resist against each other and their tender feelings for one another.
This is the first book that I have read from Catherine Spangler, and I absolutely loved this story. It is filled with passion, adventure, mystery, wit and suspense. The humor in this book, is the best, I was laughing all through the book. I found Nessa to be driven young woman, to do anything to reach Sonoma, and her attempts to run away from Chase thoroughly amused me. I was always asking myself Now what is she going to end up doing next? She never ceases to amaze me, I have to say I was never bored while reading this one. Although there were moments that I got confused, for the most part it was a astounding read, that I thoroughly enjoyed!